Assemblywoman Luz Rivas’ Equestrian Rider Safety Bill Signed into Law

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assemblywoman Luz Rivas’ (D-San Fernando Valley) Assembly Bill (AB) 974, enacting it into law. AB 974 is a constituent-led measure that improves the safety and visibility of equestrian riders and their equines while on paved highways.

“I am privileged to have worked closely with leaders in my community to enact this law and improve traffic safety laws for equestrian riders throughout the state so we can prevent future tragedies from occurring,” said Assemblywoman Luz Rivas. “The idea for this legislation came from my community after an unfortunate horse and vehicle accident occurred in my district. If we can prevent even one injury because of this new law, then our efforts will have been worth it. I want to thank Governor Newsom for signing this bill into law and I congratulate all of our local activists and leaders who made this possible.”

On an evening in October 2019, a vehicle struck two individuals riding their horses in the City of Lake View Terrace. The crash killed the two horses and left the riders in critical condition. Neither the riders nor their equines had been wearing reflective gear or lights at the time. The accident prompted a community town hall that served as the impetus to update rider safety laws for the state.

“AB 974 is a big victory for equestrian communities in Assembly District 39 and the state, and a great step towards making our roads safer for riders,” said Gina Cruz, Chair of the Foothill Trails District Land Use Committee. “California has the second largest population of horses in the entire country, and it's important that we take these steps to keep riders safe, and protect our equestrian heritage. Tremendous thanks to Assemblywoman Luz Rivas for championing this legislation and to Governor Newsom for signing AB 974 into law."

AB 974 increases the safety and visibility of our young riders and horses by requiring minors to wear a helmet when riding on a paved highway. Additionally, all riders or their equines must wear reflective gear or lights beginning at sundown.

“I am so pleased with the passing of AB 974 for the safety of our equestrian communities across the state of California,” said Cheri Blose, Sylmar Neighborhood Council Equestrian Chair. “This bill, what it supports and stands for, is a long-needed safety measure. It brings awareness to our neighbors and communities that equestrian safety and rights on the roads are important not just for the people within the equestrian life, but for the drivers on the roads with us. I would like to especially thank Assemblywoman Luz Rivas for her forward-thinking on this matter, listening to what our community needed, and her steadfast championing of this legislation, and my thanks to Governor Newsom for signing AB 974 into law.”

Assemblywoman Luz Rivas proudly represents the 39th Assembly District, which includes the City of Los Angeles communities of Arleta, Lake View Terrace, Granada Hills, Mission Hills, North Hollywood, Pacoima, Sun Valley, Sunland-Tujunga, Sylmar, and the City of San Fernando.